Buying your first home can be an exciting time. You hear people say why rent, when you can own. Interest rates are at historic lows, now is a good time to buy. Many first time buyers hear things like this, and immediately take to the internet and start searching for their first home.

The home search sites, Zillow.com, and Realtor.com give consumers much of the same information on homes that the local multiple listing service provides to Realtors. So first time buyers are off to the races searching for their dream home, and when they find one, a Realtor is just a click away.

Unfortunately, many of these searches end in disappointment. After seeing a home and falling in love it, many buyers find out they are not financially qualified for the home. The home is either out of their price range, or there have been some credit, and debt issues in the past that need to be cleaned up before a lender will qualify them for a loan.

I highly recommend a buyer contact a lender first and obtain a pr-approval letter. This can take one to three days depending on credit and income history. This information provides a number of important facts.

1. Tells the buyer how much home they can afford

2. Tells the seller the buyer is qualified to buy their home

The housing market is very active right now. When given a choice between a pre approved buyer, and one who is not, the seller is always going to choose the approved buyer first.

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